Tag Archives: Hazelnuts

Fruit & Nut Banana Protein Ice Cream

Using solely banana for the ice cream isn’t my own original idea- it’s been a well-known recipe in the fitness community for a while now. However, this is my own favourite way of eating this banana ‘ice cream’. This is a perfect, tasty, and filling recipe for getting in not only some of your fruit intake, but also an alternative method for getting in your protein.

Some people like to chop up the banana, freeze, then blend it to instantly make the ice cream. This however requires that you have a strong blender- one that handles ice with ease- and I wanted to make sure that this recipe is available to everyone to make. You can make it that way, but I prefer to freeze it the ‘traditional’ way. For this recipe you’ll need:

Ingredients.FNPB.Ed

-3 large ripe bananas

-1 scoop protein powder ( I used a 60ml scoop-vanilla or chocolate tastes best)

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 small serving Hazelnuts

-1 small serving Cashews

-1 small serving Raisins (for some extra sweetness)

-3 or 4 squares 85% dark chocolate

-A clean, dry plastic tub for freezing the ice cream

Optional- Coconut Milk (or any other form of milk) to loosen the mixture after the protein powder is added.

Cocoa Powder, to add to the mixture to make a chocolate ice cream.

Note: The bananas/ ice cream mixture will provide roughly 2 servings of the ice cream.

 

The first step is to blend up your banana to form a purée. I then transferred this to a bowl, added in the vanilla extract, and a scoop of my protein powder. Then mix it all together well. For this recipe vanilla protein powder tastes best (I think!) but chocolate protein would work too. As I use soy protein powder, my mixture thickens considerably, so if you find yours does the same, then at this point you can add a dash of milk to loosen it up. My personal favourite for this is coconut milk, but any will do the job.

If you would like to make chocolate ice cream, you can add in cocoa powder at this stage- I would personally use about 1 ½ heaped dessert spoons, but with this recipe it is all your own personal preference. Once thoroughly mixed, (I like to blend it a second time to eliminate any chance of ‘protein lumps’) transfer into your clean tub, and freeze.

Mixture.FNPB.Ed2

You could alternatively transfer the mixture into an ice cream maker at this point, if you have one. If using the freezer, ensure you give the mixture a good stir (roughly every 45 mins) to break up the ice crystals, making for a smoother finish.  Once it is at your desired consistency, you can start to prepare the toppings, ready to serve.

Put  your pan on the heat, chuck in the nuts and cook until they are slightly browned. Ensure you are stirring the nuts to avoid scorching them, as they can burn pretty easily. When done, roughly chop them- cooking first makes them much softer.

Chopped.Buts.FNPB.Ed

Melting the chocolate is the last step before serving. I used 4 pieces, which I melted in the microwave. It took just over a minute to melt, while frequently stopping to stir. When the chocolate is melted, make sure you grab a tea towel or similar to carefully remove the chocolate, as the bowl will be hot. I learnt this the hard way. You can use the Bain Marie method if you prefer a less stressful experience!

Finally remove your ice cream from the freezer, top with the nuts, raisins, melted dark chocolate, and serve! To obtain the harder consistency shown in my photos, I left my ice cream to freeze overnight (after stirring it through twice).

Finished.FNPB.Ed

 

 

 

 

Sweet Cashew Stuffed Dates

This recipe is one of my favourites- as it is sweet & filling, but has no added sugar or anything unhealthy in it. The homemade cashew butter is so easy, much tastier than anything shop bought, and because it’s made at home you know it doesn’t contain heaps of sugar. I’ve noticed an influx of different types of butters (I feel the name ‘nut butters’ may not be appropriate!) in the shops (Hazelnut, 3 nut, cashew etc.) but it’s very easy and much cheaper to make your own at home.

My Granny used to make stuffed dates for us on numerous occasions- hers would always be stuffed with homemade marzipan and some kind of nuts for topping- similar to this one, but this one is without the marzipan, and with some tasty cashew butter instead- which is sugar free & full of protein.

There aren’t many ingredients required for this recipe, as it’s such a simple one. It is worth stating that the amount of cashews I’ve suggested will make a small jar of cashew butter- so you will have enough to make this recipe multiple times. You will also therefore need an empty jar (with lid) for storing your cashew butter. This jar should be extremely clean & sterilised, as any residue in the jar will encourage the growth of bacteria- which is obviously not desirable!

So you will need:

4-5 Medjool Dates (Morrisons are my favourite)

200g Cashew Nuts (Makes more than needed)

Handful of hazelnuts

Ingredients.2E

*Optional- Walnut Oil if Cashew butter is difficult to blend.

The first step is to toast your cashews. I set the oven to 180°c, as although it’s very hot, you spend less time waiting around for them to toast! Once your oven is hot, pop in the cashews for about 1 minute- watching them like a hawk! These things burn extremely fast, so keep an eye on them at all times. After a minute, depending on your oven, take them out and shuffle them about with a spoon, so all all the sides get equal cooking. Then keep toasting them for 1 minute intervals until their done. They won’t turn brown but may look very slightly darker. The best way to find out is of course to taste one. If it tastes creamy and rich without the raw taste then it’s done. Repeat the process with the hazelnuts- which should have a distinct toasted hazelnut flavour when their cooked.

Hazelnuts.1E

My favourite part is next- making the cashew butter! Load your cashews into the blender of your choice. I used a ‘bullet’ type blender, (one I got for Christmas, and am so far loving- thanks guys!) and it worked well. I would say the optimum blender would be a solid food processor. You must have a blender that is quite sturdy for this- one way of telling is if it  can blend ice easily. Hand blenders are not recommended for this as they generally can’t cope (from my own experience using them).

When blending you will have to scrape down the sides of your blender a lot, and keep mixing it when scraping to ensure there are no stray cashews trying to escape being blended. The first step is this cashew ‘dust’ and then eventually it starts to come together as it blends further.

Blender.2EA shot of the blended cashews before they form the cashew butter:

 

Blended.1E.I have made cashew butter a number of times, and sometimes it will blend into a smooth paste no problem, but other times it needs help to blend. If your cashews aren’t blending into a paste you can add a small amount of walnut oil- or any oil you prefer (eg. Coconut) just not olive oil (for taste reasons).

I added approx. 1.5 teaspoons of walnut oil to my cashew butter to help the blending process.

Once the cashew butter is made, it is simply a case of chopping the roasted hazelnuts (or leave some whole if preferred) and slicing the dates to be stuffed.

Chopping.1E

Then fill the dates with your cashew butter, top with the hazelnuts and eat!

Fin.Ed.1